Well, the two recently posted polls caused alot of commotion. Most of which included something along the lines of "Blaine is a fake. He's a poser for using gimmicks."
Now I'm not supporting Blaine, but I am certainly not against him. The same goes for my stand on gimmicks. In my opinion, you can be a great magician if 100% of your reportoire is gimmicked, and you can be a great magician if 100% of your reportoire is sleight of hand only. But I do think that in both cases, the magician can be missing out from magic's true potential. So of course, when I see people saying Oz is better than Blaine because Blaine uses too many gimmicks, I feel sick to my stomach.
Gimmicks has nothing to do with how good either one of them is. One of the main reasons why I feel David is actually a good magician is by one of the things he says to Leonardo DiCaprio in his interview on one of his TV specials. He sates that "Magic is an art. But today, if people want to learn about magic, they have to go a library and look under hobbies and games." He says this with a disgusted voice. This shows that he truely cares for his art. He also states alot of things through out the special that shows that he also has a wide knowledge of magic's history.
Now, this is mainly directed to the people who think that David uses ONLY or TOO MANY gimmicks, thus making him a bad magician (which is an absurd comment anyway). You probably won't understand that using them won't make you a bad magician, so if the following is the only way I can get my message to you, then so be it:
I watched the David Blaine Fearless DVD (Containing the best of all of his TV specials, except for Vertigo (Street Magic, Magic Man, and Frozen in Time.)
Here are the statistics:
Of the 50 effects peformed on the specials, 30% of them used factory manufactured gimmicks. (Examples include Bite Out Quarter, Rising Card Deck, Invisible Deck, etc)
69.94% of them were a mixture of both Impromptu effects, and effects needing slight set-up. (An example of an impromptu trick was the ACR, and an example of a trick requiring a slight set up was a Here then There Transposition). Of the 69.94 percent, 47.75% required some set up, and 56.25% of them were completely impromptu.
0.06% of them I consider to be a category X. These are effects that were mainly there for television purposes only, and would be extremely unpractical on the street, such as "Card in Spectators Shoe."
So to the people who were basing Blaine's skill on the fact that he uses too many gimmicks (and I'll say again, this is a dumb thing to base your opinion on), you are still wrong, as when you compare the amount of gimmicked tricks, to the amount of tricks requiring set-up, to the tricks that are completely impromptu, the latter takes the majority!